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CHRISTIAN HEALTH ASSOCIATIONS FROM SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA LAUNCH A NETWORKING PLATFORM & SECRETARIAT

A platform for the Africa Christian Health Associations (CHAs) was launched in January 2007 and a Secretariat set up in Nairobi, Kenya hosted by Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK). The decision to establish the platform was made during the CHAs Biennial Conference which was held on 16-18th January 2007 at the Paradise Resort in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. The platform includes a Secretariat hosted and supported by CHAK, which has a communication officer fluent in both English and French. Michael Mugweru was the first staff to formally join the platform in the position of Secretariat communication officer from May 1, 2007. Dr Samuel Mwenda, the General Secretary of CHAK has provided inspirational and strategic leadership which guided the establishment and rapid development of ACHAP as well as expansion of partnerships within Africa and internationally. CHAK has provided office space, administrative support and financial management since inception. CHAK also provided ACHAP a legal framework for its operations until it obtained its own legal registration in Kenya in May 2012, as an international NGO with mandate in Africa. 

Through the inspiration and facilitation of WCC, the CHAs from Africa had created biennial platforms for networking, engagement and experience sharing beginning from the late 90s. In 2003, a CHAs meeting was held in Nairobi, Kenya followed by another one in November 2004 held at Mangochi, Malawi. In January 2007 the CHAs meeting was hosted by CSSC at Bagamoyo in Tanzania. During the deliberations at each of these meetings the similarities of the functions and challenges facing CHAs was found to be striking. The CHA meeting of Nairobi focused on HIV&AIDS and Primary Health Care, the Malawi meeting focused on Health Care Financing and Public-Private-Partnership. The Bagamoyo meeting focused on the Human Resources for Health (HRH) retention crisis and Health Sector Reforms within the region.

The CHAs conferences have created rich fora for exchange of experiences, lessons learnt, documents and best practices. The networking and exchanges that take place both formally and informally in these meetings provide practical lessons that also serve as a source of inspiration. It is for this reason that the Bagamoyo CHAs meeting  decided to strengthen the CHAs platform by establishing a Secretariat to support coordinate the activities of the network. This initiative was embraced by collaborating partners including WCC, DIFEAM, IMA, MMI, CCIH and EPN who committed to provide technical and financial support towards enabling the Secretariat to play a meaningful role for the CHAs Platform.

The CHAs from Africa present at the CHAs meeting held in Bagamoyo, Tanzania came up with a declaration of commitment which was also supported by the cooperating partner organizations present. One key commitment was to strengthen a Support Platform for all CHA’s in Africa through the establishment of a Secretariat in Nairobi to be hosted by CHAK that would improve networking and communication between CHA’s and associated organizations in Africa and elsewhere. CHAK accepted the request to lead the efforts of establishing and hosting this secretariat. The Secretariat was required to have capacity to facilitate communication in both English and French languages. WCC and DIFEAM provided the initial seed funding that facilitated the secretariat establishment. In subsequent years other partners came on board including ICCO, Misereor, Cordaid, and IMA –with USAID funding through the Capacity Project targeting HRH.

The contacts for the Africa CHAs Platform Secretariat Office are:

Africa CHAs Platform (ACHAP) Secretariat
c/o - Christian Health Association of Kenya (CHAK)
 Musa Gitau Road off Waiyaki Way
P.O Box 30690,
00100, Nairobi, KENYA
Tel : 254-20-4441920, 2660372
Mobile: 254-733-334419, 722-203617
Fax : 254-20-4440306
E-mail: chas@chak.or.ke
Website: www.africachap.org

ACHAP 8th Biennial Conference